Never thought you’d see the day when gay marriage was legal in Arkansas, did you?
That’s exactly what happened on Friday, when a circuit court judge in Little Rock stuck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, calling it unconstitutional. The ruling referenced a 2004 amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman; it also applied to a 1997 state law outright banning gay marriage.
Keep reading »
Abortion foes in the Arkansas State Senate passed a bill yesterday to ban certain funding grants to Planned Parenthood. The chosen grants heading to the chopping block? Sex education. Which sucks, because Planned Parenthood provided the state’s sex ed.
According to Think Progress, Arkansas lacks a codified set of sex education requirements, which is why Planned Parenthood stepped in to do HIV/AIDS and STD/STI education in the state. A Republican health education teacher, and assistant football coach, Darrell Seward, told the Huffington Post over the phone:
“I would challenge any legislator or politician in the state of Arkansas or higher to set foot in my classroom and listen to the curriculum and walk out and say it’s a bad program. This program has been one of the most well-received programs that our students have ever been engaged in. I am a Republican, but this is one issue I feel very strongly about, because I see the benefit for our kids.”
So why take away these funds? Well because the bill’s sponsor doesn’t like any state funding to go to any organization that has anything to do with abortion or abortion referrals. Keep reading »
Arkansas’ state House of Representatives advanced a bill yesterday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest. The bill is based on the medically unproven theory touted by anti-abortion advocates that 20 weeks is when a fetus can feel pain. Keep reading »
Abortions could be banned as early as six weeks into pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant, under a new bill proposed in Arkansas. Keep reading »
An Arkansas high school appointed two valedictorians in their Class of 2011, because the student with the highest GPA was black. According to a lawsuit by 18-year-old Kymberly Wimberly (yes, her real name), she was told earlier this year she would be valedictorian of McGehee Secondary School in Pine Bluff, AR, thanks to her nearly-straight A grades, Honors and AP classes. But Wimberly’s mother is an employee at McGehee Secondary School and overheard talk in the copy room that school personnel were concerned that having a black valedictorian would cause “a big mess.” According to Court House News Service, the high school was “predominantly white and 46 percent African-American,” and the implication is that some white families would resent having the black student’s success. So, on graduation day, both Wimberly and a white student, who had the number two GPA at the school, were both honored as valedictorians. The number three-ranking student, also white, then became the salutatorian. When Wimberly’s mother tried to protest the principal’s decision at a school board meeting, she was told she had filled out the wrong forms and was not permitted to speak.
Seriously, people? Keep reading »